Moonlit night on Capri, Ivan Aivazovsky – painting description

Description of the picture:

Moonlit night on Capri – Aivazovsky. 1841. Oil on canvas. 20 6 x 38.5 cm

   With its own small size, this picture is striking in the scope and grandeur of the captured scene. A large ship with loose sails heads towards a benevolent beautiful island – the beloved resting place of the Roman kings and the following countless rulers. The peninsula itself is shown in the distance, its outlines are clearly visible against the background of a dark sky and sea, brightly illuminated by the rays of the full moon.

   A small boat docked on board the huge ship on the frontal plane, maybe this team is going to save, or local merchants have sailed to sell their products to sailors or to supply them with water and food. In the frontal view is another low boat with people who are staring intently towards a large ship. One can imagine that on this vessel there is a principal person who intrigued with his arrival the local inhabitants or the fishermen who sailed past.

   This ship is not lonely off the coast of Capri. In the background, a two-masted ship with folded sails is anchored, it seems that it is on the roadstead. Several small sailboats are scattered along the coast – these are fishermen who went to night fishing, which is rich in local coastal waters.

   Impressive color palette of the canvas. A tremendous fine task was solved with the help of a rather moderate and restrained palette. All the colors of cyan and cyan prevail, and the cool yellowish light of the moon, which floods Capri’s surroundings with its radiance, assigns an appropriate degree of contrast.

   The night sea is quiet and calm, covered with small ripples. It is decorated with a blurry path of moonlight, which gives the canvas perspective and volume. The masterly-depicted clouds do the same thing – huge, shaggy and light, they, like theatrical curtains, frame a picture of a quiet moonlit night on the blessed peninsula of Capri."